There are many terms commonly used in law that aren’t used elsewhere. One of those terms is “loss of consortium.” This funny-sounding term is often used in personal injury law. If you’re filing a claim or working with an attorney and this has come up, you might be curious what it means.
In this post, we’ll provide a brief overview of this concept. We’ll also discuss when it makes sense to pursue a loss of consortium damage claim and what else you might want to consider.
“Loss of Consortium” Defined
Simply put, “loss of consortium” refers to the losses a spouse or close family member experiences when a victim is seriously injured or killed. These losses could include a range of things, such as:
- Support and guidance
- Sexual intimacy and/or fertility
In other words, if a victim is injured or killed and no longer able to have the same type of close relationship as before, their close family members may be able to file a loss of consortium claim.
Who Can Bring a Loss of Consortium Claim Forward?
Only a very few people can bring a loss of consortium claim forward. In the past, these types of claims were typically only brought forward by a spouse or domestic partner. However, loss of consortium claims have expanded to include other key family relationships.
- Spouse or domestic partner
While many other familial relationships and friendships may be impacted by a loss, they are excluded from such a claim.
Examples of When a Loss of Consortium Claim May Apply
The types of injuries that could trigger a loss of consortium claim to arise are often catastrophic, long-lasting, or permanent. In other words, pretty serious injuries.
To illustrate, here are a few hypothetical examples:
- A man is paralyzed in a motor vehicle accident. As a result, his sexual relationship with his wife has been severely and permanently impacted. This could also impact their ability to conceive a child.
- A woman suffers a serious traumatic brain injury after a fall that leaves her unable to care for herself. Her minor son could file a loss of consortium claim because he has lost receiving years of support, love, and comfort from his mother.
- A child is killed in a school accident. Her parents could file a loss of consortium claim as they no longer will be able to enjoy a relationship with their child.
As these examples illustrate, the injuries leading to a loss of consortium claim are very serious in nature. While a car accident that results in back pain or even surgery might be disruptive to your marriage, it’s not likely to be permanent or long-lasting. A loss of consortium claim in this instance is not likely to go far.
Things to Consider before Claiming a Loss of Consortium Claim
Suppose you’re the spouse of a personal injury victim. And after reading this post, you’re pretty sure you have a legitimate loss of consortium claim. So, is there any reason why you might want to push pause on moving forward with a claim? In short, yes.
You should understand that it’s difficult to put a number on a loss of consortium claim. So, lots of private information may need to be gathered about the nature of your relationship in order to value your losses.
Information requested could include:
- The nature of your marriage or relationship
- Any history of infidelity or abuse
- Friends, family, others opinions of your marriage or relationship
- Length of marriage
Given the sensitivity of these questions, you may want to consider how comfortable you’d be in answering them in order to pursue compensation.
Working with an Attorney
The best way to know if you have a potential claim is to contact a personal injury attorney. Here at Ladenburg Law, our attorneys are always happy to offer free consultations. Please reach out today!